Why the Mercury Falls

Heavy-metal rains may trace to oxidants, including smog

By Janet Raloff, 15:49 PM April 15, 2008

In the mid-1980s, some researchers in the northern Midwest, Canada, and Scandinavia began reporting alarming concentrations of mercury in freshwater fish. Curious about Florida's largemouth bass and other finned delicacies, state scientists there began assaying lake fish. Thomas Atkeson, then a Florida state wildlife biologist, recalls that most of the fish he examined fell just under the limit then recommended by the Food and Drug Administration. "We were scratching our heads as to whether ...

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